Pushing Limits and Bridging the Past in "Evel Live"

Pushing Limits and Bridging the Past in "Evel Live"

CULTURE

Pushing Limits and Bridging the Past in "Evel Live"

For Travis Pastrana, being an innovator and progressing the action sports community, is far more personal and important than being title the “Greatest of All Time” in action sports.

Pastrana will further cement his legacy as one of the greatest in the action sports community as he recreates three of Evel Knievel’s jumps at Caesars Palace. “Evel Live, an unprecedented three-hour live event created by History Channel in partnership with Nitro Circus Media Productions will premier Sunday, July 8 at 8PM ET as part of the network’s second annual car week.

Travis Pastrana “Evel Live” 

“The coolest part about ‘Evel Live’ is that it bridges the gap of the past to this current generation of fans,” said Pastrana. “With our partnership with History Channel, we get to tell a story while performing these stunts. Evel Knievel was the man. He inspired generations of fans like myself to explore and push the boundaries. Telling his story through my performance is what I want to have be remembered the most from this event. When this opportunity presented itself there was no way I was turning it down. This is a tribute to Evel. Back when men where men, Evel was always a man of his word and he went for it no matter what the condition and I want to do the Knievel family justice. In the beginning there was a discussion of what three events where Evel’s most iconic jumps. Other than the fountain jump which was a non negotiable, I had to do that, the other two represent Evel in the best way.””

During “Evel Live”, Pastrana will honor legendary daredevil Evel Knievel by attempting three of his most dangerous feats in Las Vegas. These include: breaking Knievel’s record jump over 50 cars, another record-breaking jump over 14 full size buses, and aiming to make history as the first person to successfully jump the Caesar’s Palace fountain on a bike similar to the one Knievel used 50 years ago – an attempt that ended with a crash that left him grasping for life.

Travis Pastrana “Evel Live”

Risk and the reality of life altering consequences has no boundaries in extreme sports.

“In many ways, everything about these jumps are similar to what Evel jumped but with a modern twist” said Pastrana. “Through the years and the development of the take off and landing ramps that we have engineered to be safer, that technology and progression is found in the ramps used for ‘Evel Live’.

While the physical aspects of the stunt are better developed, the mental strength needed to push forward with extreme stunts such as “Evel Live” requires an entirely different skill set. That skill set for Pastrana has been challenged recently as a stunt for one of the team members of the Nitro Circus crew went horribly wrong landing Phil Smage in the hospital with multiple broken ribs, broken wrist, collarbone and fracture vertebrae from C3-C7. Pastrana knows all to well the cost required of his body to continue raising the bar.

“I can stand in front of you and recite the entire list of every bone I have broken in my body and every surgery I have had,” said Pastrana. “I have spent years finding ways to allow athletes to raise the bar in the sport and push these tricks to a new level, but most importantly at the same time I have spent more hours developing a way to make it safer. When you look at the Nitro World Games for example, in the two years that we have run the event, we have had more world’s first tricks landed than any other event in the history of action sports events. This is a direct result of the design and forward progression that I want to bring to the action sports community.”

But where does the inspiration or the dream of what event to do next come from?

“Well it certainly is not for the money,” said Pastrana. “For me it comes down to putting myself or the other athletes that come to me to help them, in a position to break barriers in action sports. I have to continually remind myself to be careful what to ask for because once I write an dream down on paper my commitment takes over and I will not stop until that dream either becomes a reality or proven not possible mainly due to the risk factor. When you are pushing the limits of what we do, sometimes things go wrong. At times, it doesn’t matter how much work or preparation has been done, things have the potential to go wrong. Rather than letting that discourage us, we step back and look at why it went wrong and learn from it.”

If Pastrana rides away from all three, he will be the only person to successfully beat two of Knievel’s distance records and land a jump over the fountain on a legendary Indian motorcycle.

Travis Pastrana “Evel Live”

“Three jumps in one night on one bike, this bike is amazing,” said Pastrana. “There is so much power in this Indian bike and it is an absolute blast to ride on. In practice jumps we have broken several parts of the bike but I have a great team that puts it back together to allow us this opportunity. Multiple factors make this a difficult night but we have all the right ingredients from the production teams at History and Nitro Circus to the bike manufacturer and mechanics and the engineers who construct these jumps. Indian Motorcycles is as a brand that is pushing the industry forward, so I gave Rowland Sands carte blanche to be in charge of making this bike as strong as authentic as we could have.”

Pastrana is the last person to take all the credit for the tricks he has landed.

“The coolest part of what I get to do is not having to worry about certain aspects of the trick, I can solely focus on my part because I have a great team around me,” said Pastrana. “Knowing that at the end of the day my job is to jump the bike and all of the other pieces to the puzzle that will make this event work are taken care of brings a great peace of mind. I know that when I show up that I only have one job, execute the trick.”

Alongside the three epic jumps live on History Channel, there will be live interviews with Knievel and Pastrana family members, archival footage of the history behind Knievel’s many daring jumps.

“What you will notice throughout the night with these interviews is the common theme that we don’t do this for the money, we do this for the love and passion we have for our respective sport,” said Pastrana. “For me to be able to show to my two kids that their mom and dad never shied away from doing what we were passionate about and we never stopped chasing a dream is the best lesson that we could possibly pass along to our kids and the community that supports me.”

Where will you be when Pastrana makes History once again?

 

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